0004. Louis Prima – The Wildest! [1956]

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Man, what a fun album! I mean, swing is inherently fun. Kind of like, “If you’re not dancin’, then you’re dead.” I can’t imagine ever getting tired of swing jazz, and Louie Prima was the first and biggest name that came to mind when I was a kid. My grandmother used to direct and perform in this show called the Wayne Senior Follies that was basically sketch comedy, music and dance numbers, and one of the things they’d do is lip sync to Prima songs. I still vividly remember how funny it was watching my buddy John Kuczynski perform I’ve Got You Under My Skin and That Old Black Magic with whomever was picked to perform as Keely Smith.

The one thing that irks me about the album are the sentimental tones in some of the songs that seem understandably odd in contrast to the things I’ve read and heard about Prima and Smith’s relationship. I don’t know how much of it’s true, but the album’s still fantastic. I mean, right from the lyrics of the first track, “…when the end comes, I know, they’ll all say “just a gigolo,” as life goes on without me,” (which, incidentally, is also written on Prima’s crypt) to the ending of “Nobody cares for me,” which then concludes with this joyous fanfare, you know you’re in for a good time. This one comes HIGHLY recommended by me. 🙂

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